Written by: Zul Husni Abdul Hamid
Translated by: Farina
Source: Berita Harian Glamor, Saturday 18 June 2011
His appearance brings a new wave to Korean drama fans, in fact the popularity that Jang Geun-Suk enjoys overcomes the phenomenon that was first set by the famous actor, Bae Yong-joon.
The 24 year old young man has enjoyed extraordinary success in foreign countries, especially Japan when his acting in You Are Beautiful has been repeated on multi channels there. The release of his first single, Let Me Cry which was also launched at the Land of the Rising Sun on 27th April received a very good response, at the same time putting Geun-suk as the most popular Asian star.
“Last year, after wrapping up Marry Me Mary, I only managed to have a 10 day holiday. After that, I have never rested,” he said, admitting that his schedule is so tight that he finds it hard to find rest.
The young man who was born on 4 August 1987 in Danyang, Chungcheongbuk Province, South Korea, began his artistic career at the age of six as an advertisement model. His career path was paved beautifully. When his parents wanted to sell their house, a buyer who was also a talent agent, encouraged Geun-suk to try his luck as a model.
However, Geun-suk’s acting career began in 1997 through a HBS produced sitcom, Selling Happiness. When he was in secondary school, Geun-suk was so influenced with the music of Ken Hirai apart from the Japanese rock band L’Arc-en-Ciel, which inspired him to learn the Japanese language.
He then flew to New Zealand to study English and Japan. However, due to his career demands, he decided to return to South Korea and starred in the sitcom, Nonstop 4. His acting talent has not been tested fully. Geun-suk finally decided to give full attention to acting.
In 2005, his acting in Lovers in Prague which was telecast by SBS received good reviews and thus increased his popularity.
His effective acting skills as a musician brought Geun-suk to the silver screen when the director who is full of caliber, Lee Joon-ik offered him the leading role in the critically acclaimed film, The Happy Life.
Even though his voice has been used in so many drama OST, including You’re Beautiful, Beethoven Virus and Mary Stayed Out All Night, music has never been the main track in his career.
“Acting is my dream. I learnt to produce, studied in detail all things related to the entertainment world including acting and my biggest dream is to be called the Best Actor in Asia, also The World,” he said.
He has also not wasted his singing ability with the birth of his single, Let me Cry early this year, simultaneously showing his true character to his fans.
“Jang Geun-suk as a singer and not an actor makes a lot of difference. When acting, everything has been set and I only play out the character that was given me. However when my song climbed up the popular song chart in just a few days, what happened was more dramatic and spectacular”.
“I was so touched because it is not an act, on the other hand a reality after I worked hard to realize that dream”.
“I have been so lucky because my appearance was well received”, said the young man who first made his appearance three years ago.
Geun-suk’s name once again became a hot mass media topic when he was recently seen meeting with a popular drama director, Yoon Seok-ho.
Seok-ho was reported trying to collaborate with Geun-suk for his latest KBS drama, Our Happy Days of Youth which is scheduled to air this September.
Geun-suk’s tight schedule, which is tied up with the filming of You’re My Pet, and his singing commitment in other countries made it difficult for him to give his final word. His schedule is packed till August, however all those excuses does not make Seok-ho give up and he took the inititative to discuss with the young man himself. The initial filming will be done in Japan and choosing Geun-suk is deemed perfect with his extraordinary popularity in that country.
Media has reported that should Geun-suk decide to accept it, this drama will attract investors who are willing to fork out up to AS$150,000 per episode. However, most medias do not agree, what more to think of the projected effect it will have on the peak of Geun-suk’s career.
The media also has the opinion that Seok-ho’s main genre is tragic dramas and *greatness(* cant find the exact translation of ‘keagungan’..sorry..) and the theme is not suitable with the current Korean drama fans. Even though You Are Beautiful was recorded as a success in Asia, the reality is the drama received less attention in its own country.
Geun-suk’s tendency to hold a leading role, even the same character has been recently held, Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do and Marry Me Mary too are not the best made decisions in the long run. Even if he has a concrete standing in Japan, in fact his talent as an actor has been acknowledged, Geun-suk in actuality is still waiting for a script which will challenge his credibility.
Collaborating with Seok-ho may give him huge publicity, however will that give him due returns to his career? It still remains a question.
(re-translated from Indonesian Theresa)